From the real-estate world to brick-and-mortar stores, it seems like everyone (no really, everyone) is focused on figuring out millennials—especially as it relates to their communication preferences and buying habits. So how, exactly, has the digital world shaped their expectations of everyday services and, more importantly, how can your brand meet these expectations? Not to fear, planners and pros—today, we’re talking all-things millennials as it relates to the wedding-planning process. Read on for our top tips for ensuring your client communication process speaks their all-important language (and don’t worry—we won’t ask you to do the Kiki dance challenge).
1. What Millennials want: Accessibility and control.
Millennials’ use of technology—and, in particular, social media platforms—has greatly shaped their expectations of the wedding-planning process. In essence, they want the wedding planning process to offer up everything their favorite platforms do: 24/7 accessibility and control. Whether they really are interested in diving into the details with you or simply want the security of knowing they can, they expect access to the information (seating charts, budgets, guest lists, vendor contracts, design inspiration boards). Gone are the days of physical binders that house coffee-stained seating charts and paint swatches as inspiration for color palettes. Instead, millennials expect their planning process to take place on a clean, streamlined platform that they can instantly access from anywhere.
How to give it to them:Invite them into your Aisle Planner project. Invite your clients to the Aisle Planner project you’ve set up for their wedding. That way, you’re working from a single place where you can share information, assign tasks, and discuss ideas. It gives clients the real-time access they desire to their wedding-planning details, and it allows them to tap into the planning process and check on their tasks in their own time (this is perfect for when your work schedule and theirs don’t align). PRO TIP: Don’t want them to see everything quite yet? Planner Prep Mode allows you to only share information with your client when it's ready to be presented. Plus, our granular permission settings provide even more privacy options to work from.
2. What Millennials want: Transparency and instant gratification.
Millennials want to know what to expect ahead of time. They don’t like being surprised with last-minute to-dos or charges they didn’t see coming. They want a planning process that’s both authentic and transparent. Millennials like brands that stand for something—it’s why, for example, more so than with any other generation, ethical sourcing is a key factor for them when purchasing engagement rings. Transparency goes hand-in-hand with this idea of social responsibility—they want to feel like they can trust the wedding planner and vendors they’re choosing to spend their money with. Along that same vein, then, they also expect instant gratification. If they wake up at 2 a.m. wondering about how much they’ve spent so far on their wedding or even just their stationery suite, they want to be able to roll out of bed and access that information instantly, rather than wait for an in-person meeting with their planner.
How to give it to them:Use the Aisle Planner Checklist and Budget tools to keep them in the loop. Our checklist tool is the perfect feature for millennial clients who want to know what to expect from the planning process ahead of time. It’s an easy way to give them an at-a-glance idea of what tasks are coming up in the immediate future and months down the road. Our budget tool is also great for transparency and instant gratification—it allows clients to see the status of their dollars-spent along the way, allows them to review any invoices you’ve added from other vendors, and even breaks down the difference between initial estimates and final costs.
3. What Millennials want: Open communication and collaboration—all on a digital platform.
It’s no surprise that millennials prefer to do their talking through technology—in fact, this Forbes article, “Millennials Shaking Up the Wedding Industry” puts it best when it says that millennials want to “comfortably and extensively utilize technology throughout their entire engagement and wedding process.” Thanks to smartphones and social media platforms, most millennials grew up in a world where they didn’t have to wait days for a response. They like platforms that allow them to seamlessly and easily communicate and collaborate with others at their own leisure. They want to participate in the wedding planning process, rather than feel like they’re kept at an arm’s length from it.
How to give it to them:Use AP comments to help them feel like they’re part of the process throughout every step. Use Aisle Planner’s comments feature to communicate and collaborate with millennial clients seamlessly. You comment, the client is emailed a notification, and—the best part—all they have to do is reply directly to the email to comment in return (their comment will be posted directly to your AP project without them having to login to reply). Because comments are attached to each relevant topic, you’ll save some major time (rather than sorting through old emails or texts, you can head right to the vendor record or other area of AP where the conversation happened to retrieve past comments). This is a major win-win for client-planner collaboration: it keeps your clients informed and it helps you cut down on email-overload and unwanted late-night texts. (Psst..check out our article on Using Aisle Planner Comments to Collaborate.)